Gaza I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die
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02. I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die
03. Hospital Fat Bags
07. Hell Crown
10. Pork Finder
Reviewed by: Nick
// Published: 3/18/2007
Very few debut albums are capable of generating the amount of buzz that Gaza's I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die has been doing ever since its release (and yes, I do realize that it took a while for I Don't Care. to make it into my hands). Past experience has shown me that this "underground buzz" isn't exactly dead on. In fact, more times than not, these so-called "buzz albums" turn out to be over-inflated balloons of pure mediocrity that have somehow managed to gain popularity through hype and not musical merit. So after I Don't Care... has been out for months and some of the buzz has subsided, where do I stand Well let's just say that, hype or no-hype, I'm pretty impressed.
For those unfamiliar with Gaza, the Salt Lake City band plays an abrasive style of chaotic metalcore with heavy doses of grind, noisecore, and sludge. They've obviously listened to some Botch in their days, as gritty, math heavy riffs lay the foundation for much of this album. Throw in some Pig Destroyer and Cable influences to cover the grind and the noisecore side of things, and you've got a pretty decent description on your hands. The first three tracks are an excellent representation of the album in its entirety. The explosive beginning of "Calf" and its technically proficient guitar work will immediately strike a chord of familiarity with Botch's We are the Romans. The rapid drumming juxtaposed with slower, dissonant guitar riffs and eerie screams and wails of the second track is a great display of Gaza's grind/noise influences. The third track, "Hospital Fat Bags," is a clear standout track as it evolves from precise chaos into a slower, sludgey conclusion. When the discordant guitars and indecipherable screams fade out, the track continues with the repetition of a relaxed riff that would feel right at home on a Tides record. Those who pay close attention will also notice that the concluding riff of "Hospital Fat Bags" is also reincarnated at the conclusion of "Moth" later on in the album. This example, along with small, but effective doses of atmospherics and random noise that show up over the course of the record, demonstrates that Gaza paid attention to detail and desired to produce a cohesive album.
However, I Don't Care... is not exactly the perfect album. Songs like "Gristle" are rather forgettable, as repetitive guitar work and a painfully long concluding breakdown become a bit tiresome. After the first three tracks, Gaza doesn't really explore any new musical territory and the album sometimes gets stuck in a rut of predictability.Also, the much talked about lyrics, popular for excerpts like "Praise Jesus.LOL," and "I've got a mouth full of retard," as well as direct shots at Hatebreed, Hawthorne Heights and Thrice possess a love 'em or hate 'em quality. Sure, it's nice to see lyrics that aren't tangled in showy metaphors, but on the other hand, emulating talk seen on Internet message boards just doesn't appear to take a lot of skill. You decide.
Bottom Line: While many have already made up their mind about Gaza's I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die, I'll offer my belated recommendation to those still unfamiliar. Despite the album's slightly predictable tendencies, fans of abrasive and chaotic music should find much to enjoy about the effort, as it is a rather impressive full-length debut by a young band.
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